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Stamps Faroe Islands



September 2016 ISSN 1603-0036 1603 0036

- 1940 The Faroese Provisional Stamps 20/15 øre - Franking labels 2016 - Fish Skin Stamp - Christmas 2016

Fig. 1. A provisional stamp with value 20 without the bar and faint non-covering overprint. The stamp originates from the proof impressions but was subsequently sold as a valid stamp and used postally in Klaksvík.

Fig. 2. Provisional stamps med 20 value without the bar and with double partly covering overprint. The stamp originates from the proof impressions but was subsequently sold as a valid stamp and used postally in Thorshavn. Fig. 2a. An enlargement of Fig 2.

1940 The Faroese Provisional Stamps 20/15 øre On November 2nd 1940, 76 years ago, the Faroe Islands issued a 20/15 øre provisional stamp. The stamp was the first in a series of five, of which three values appeared with two different overprints. The Faroese Post celebrated its 75th anniversary last year with the release of four franking labels. One of them has as its motif the first 20/15 øre provisional stamp. The Faroese provisional stamps and their origins have been carefully studied and described in a series of articles. Still, I feel that the Stamp Collector’s series of articles on the Faroe Islands and Faroese philately should mark this anniversary by giving a brief updated information on the background of its origins and the use of these stamps. Flashback to 1940 If we look back to 1940, the Danish Realm (Denmark, Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland) was brought in a difficult situation after the German occupation of Denmark and Norway in April 1940. England was at that time fighting on its own against Germany with product supplies from Scandinavia 2

coming to a halt. Thus, England became dependent on supply routes from Canada and the United States which meant that the sea routes had to be kept open and as safe as possible. German forces marched into Denmark meeting almost no resistance, thus securing support for recruitment of soldiers, labour, etc. They were also given access to well supplied pantries and they wanted „the occupation“ to appear as a kind of alliance. The Germans allowed postal communication from Denmark during the war, and there were only short interruptions in mail deliveries. England suspended postal communication with Denmark and occupied the Faroes and Iceland to ensure that these countries would not fall into German hands. The British considered Denmark a German-friendly country. Against the wishes of the US they had also sent an occupying force to Greenland but were obliged to accept the fact that Greenland had come under American protection.

Fig. 1a. A letter from the postmaster J. Danielsen stating that the stock of 20 øre stamps, which at this time has become 20/15 øre provisional stamps issued on March 17, was about to be exhausted. On May 2, a new provisional stamp 20/15 øre was issued. The buyer of the 2 proof sheets, used the stamps for franking, along with 20/15 øre provisional stamps with a high overprint, when he became aware that both types of stamps were exceptional.

The British censored mail and inspected items from German-friendly countries, such as money, stamps, products etc. Goods and items brought by people from these countries were banned and confiscated. The Situation of the Faroe Islands in 1940 The contact with Denmark was cut off and the ensuing problems had to be decided upon in the Faroe Islands. In a number of cases these decisions were subject to British approval. The Faroes had prepared for the risk of war in Europe and secured more goods and a greater stock of postage stamps than usually. These stamp supplies were supposed to last for a year. The British prohibited Faroese vessels from flying the Danish flag so the Faroese decided to fly their own flag. Many Faroese fishermen participated in the war by delivering fish products to England. It was highly dangerous because of the German submarines which caused severe damage and loss of lives. When the occupation became a reality, new

postage stamps were ordered from Denmark through the British. It was agreed that this could be done with the aid of the UPU Bureau in Bern. The Faroese prefect and parliament agreed to the Danish postage increase of July 1st 1940, effective as of July 10th, which meant that postage rates rose from 15 to 20 øre. In October 1940, the new stamp supplies had not yet reached the Faroes, and the situation became critical. The Faroese requested that letters be franked with Danish stamps as long as needed, imdicating their connection to the Danish Crown. An alternative might be postage paid cancellations or use of the stamps of the Occupying Powers. Proofs of the 20/15 Provisional Stamp The problem was solved in the same way as had been done in 1919. Provisional stamps were produced by overprinting surcharged 15 øre stamps with 20 øre. Decisions on postal affairs had always been taken in Copenhagen, but this particular decision was taken entirely by the Faroese themselves. H. N. Jacobsen’s Bookstore and Printing House in Torshavn was commissioned to produce a proof of 20 øre provisional stamp. The 3

Fig. 3a. An enlargement of Fig. 3.

Fig. 3. A provisional stamps with value 20 without bar. Double overprint with not quite adequate pressure. The stamp is the „dolphin in net“ variant no. 55 in every other sheet. The two proof sheets come from two cylinders, and this variant occurs only once in this overprint.

value 20 was to be printed over the value 15 in each of the 100 stamps in a sheet. The printing plate was prepared with manually prepared typographic material using 100 replacable 2‘s, 100 replacable 0‘s and some blank material. The first impression failed because the colour was very faint and did not provide enough covering. The 15 øre Karavel stamp to be overprinted was designed as a steel-engraved stamp where the colour is like a solid mound on the paper, structured in tiny raster fields. The 20 overprint must be applied under high pressure to reach the white ground of the raster fields, providing the appearance of full coverage. The printing company decided to overprint one more proof sheet before presenting it for approval. The assessment was that the overprint was not the right size, and that it had to be enlarged by placing a bar under the value 20. A total of 200 sample stamps were printed without bars. They were to be stored away to be used only in case of an emergency situation. 4

Fig. 4. A corner marginal block from the 1st impression with low opacity pressure and variant in stamp No. 19 – a bar slanted to the right. The overprint is not aligned with the lower edge of digit 1 and the lower edge of digit 2 is shifted four raster fields to the left.

These proofs were later „mistakenly“ sold over the counter, and ended up being used on envelopes as valid postage stamps (Fig. 01, letter dated October 14, 1941 from Postmaster J. Danielsen) The following stamps can be found: • Stamp with faint non-covering overprint. Fig. 1. • Stamp with strong, partly covering overprint. • Stamp with visible double overprint. One sheet was overprinted two times, a part of this sheet clearly showing the double overprint. Fig. 2 and 2a. • Variants with errors in the stamps stemming from the two print cylinders used. „Double mark in flag“ and „dolphin in net“. Fig. 3 and 3a. • The variants found in digits 2 and 0 are the same as known in the final versions. 20/15 øre 1st impression The remaining stamp stock to be overprinted consisted of 1,399 sheets of 15 øre red Karavel type II with marginal number 385. A bar was placed under the value 20, and the printing of the remaining 1,399 sheets was initiated.

Fig. 6. A stripe of three from the 2nd impression with fully covering black overprint. In the left stamp the lower edge of the digit 2 is aligned with the digit 1. On the two other stamps the distance between the 20 values is less than the distance between the 15 values. The stamps are No. 14-16 in the sheet with a damaged bar in stamp no. 16.

Fig. 5. Upper left corner marginal block of the 1st impression. The digit 1 is not overprinted since the horizontal overprint was narrower than the distance between the ten 15 values. In stamp No. 2, the bar is right below the 20 value.

A number of sheets were produced in this first impression ranging from “faint, non-covering” to “strong almost covering” overprints. A few sheets were produced with very faint overprints which may be due to the mechanical pressure not having been increased after the insertion of the additional 100 bars. During an inspection it was found that: • The excess pressure still did not provide full cover. Fig. 4. On several sheets the digit 1 in value 15 was not printed because the overprint was too narrow. Fig 5. The distance between the individual 20 values was found to be less than the distance between the 15 values, with the exception of the vertical row between stamp 3-4. • In stamp No. 19 the bar was unevenly placed under the 20. Fig. 4. • Multiple sheets were slightly skewed during printing. The printing plate was adjusted, whereby several variants disappeared, but a few new ones appeared.

Fig. 7. Pairs from the 2nd impression with fully covering black overprint. The distance between the 20 values is greater than the distance between the 15 values. The stamp on the right has a short bar, No. 78 in the sheet, and the distance in this vertical stripe is greater relative to the 1st impression.

20/15 øre, 2nd impression: The following changes were made in the overprint: •

• •

The overprint was expanded in width by putting spacers (as blank material) in two vertical rows, a narrow one between rows 3-4 and a wider one between rows 7-8. In these pairs the overprint now became wider than the distance between the two 15 original values. Fig. 6, 7 and 10. The impression was now made with even greater pressure, and the result was a nice, fully covering black overprint. Fig. No. 8 and 10. The error in stamp No. 19 were corrected. Fig. 8. New errors in mark no. 2 occur as the bar was strongly shifted to the left. Fig. 9. It appears that greater care was taken in positioning the sheets just before printing and on most stamps the bar is now aligned with the lower edge of value 15. Multiple bars adjusted.


Fig. 9. Upper corner block of the second impression, where a new variant has emerged in stamp No. 2 where the bar is shifted to the left of the 20 value.

Fig. 8. A corner marginal block from the 2nd impression where an error in stamps No. 19 has been corrected from the 1st impression.

A recommended letter was sent as a radio-greeting to the British Consul in Tórshavn, franked with a 20/15 pair and two values of 5 øre. It can be seen that the distance between the 20 values is larger than between values 15 on the original stamp (measured at 21 mm). The right stamp, No. 78 in the sheet, has a short bar as well as a slanted bar at the top to the right. These stamps are No. 77 and 78 in the sheet, which fits with the second impression where the distance between the values 20 has increased. The overprint is strong solid black, similar to the second impression. On the left stamp, the lower edge of the digit 2 covers three raster fields on the digit 1. The distance between the 2‘s is greater that between 1‘s on the originals. Fig. 10, 10a and 7. Some of the notable characteristics of the 1st and 2nd impression are shown, but there are a lot more. The circulation numbers for the 1st and 2nd impressions are unknown and it is not possible for me to suggest a distribution on the basis of the relatively limited material that I had at my disposal. Whether these numbers will be found sometimes in the future is an open question. 6

Fig. 10a. Enlargement of Fig. 10.

Brev Fig. 10. A letter with pairs 20/15 with wide overprint between the values 20. The stamps are no. 77 and 78 in the sheet with a short, slanted bar in no. 78. See the corresponding Fig. 7.

The stamp 20/15 became out of stock at the Tórshavn post office around February 6, 1941, and in March at smaller postal collection points. Subsequently the stock of 20 values, which had arrived from Denmark in the meantime, was taken into use. Thanks to Poul Erik Malmbæk for good, critical advice, etc. Flemming Petersen (Frimærkesamleren, no. 5, 2015)

Franking labels 2016 Music Festivals in the Faroe Islands

This year’s franking labels depict Faroese music festivals. The four labels show the G!festival, the Summerfestival, Sørvágs Country- and Blues Festival and Voxbotn.

delivering world class performances and recordings. These artists, along with excellent musical talents from abroad, provide unforgettable music experiences at the various festivals held in the Faroe Islands every year.

As far back as Faroese history is recorded, music has played a major part in the nation’s culture and tradition of story telling. The music scene in the Faroes today is buzzing with artists and creators across all genres, 7

Fish Skin on stamps - for the first time ever! 26 September 2016 Posta Faroe Islands issued a very special fish skin stamp. On the stamp we honour the cod, Gadus Morhus. On each stamp a square piece of fish skin is glued which is a sensation in the philatelic world. No stamps is exactly the same because each fish skin is unique.

The text on the fish skin is an old cancellation which was used on the barrels lid filled with cod for export in the old days. It is red to make the stamp more beautiful. The stamps value is 50 DKK and the sheetlet consists of six stamps. You can read more about these special


stamps in Posta Stamps no. 28 and on our website.

Folder: Fish Skin Stamps

In connection with the issue we have produced a beautiful folder. The folder contains the stamp and a first day cover as well as a text in English about the issue. The folders are numbered and signed by Martin Mรถrck. The products can be bought in our web shop or through the coupon in the middle of this magazine. 9

30 DKK 99 DKK

25 DKK each set

Christmas 2016 Christmas Decorations

Christmas Baubles

For several years Posta has been issuing

Fuglø’s six Christmas Gospel drawings can

Christmas decorations. Among the previous

aslo be used as Christmas tree ornaments.

motifs you will find snowflakes, angels and churches. This year we have once again pro-

Price of 6 Christmas baubles (8 cm) in a

duced churches as Christmas decorations

box: 149 DKK per set.

designed by the artist Janus Guttesen. Christmas Seals The new motifs are the Mary's Church in






Tórshavn (1987) - the only catholic church

among Faroese children and the 15 best

in the Faroe Islands -, the church in Saksun

drawings were chosen to be used as Christ-

(1858) and the church in Gøta (1995)

mas Seals. The sheetlet also has changed format and for the very first time the Christ-

The decorations are made in gold-plated

mas Seals are self adhesives.

brass and provided with a golden braid ready for hanging. The churches measure

All sale profits go to The Christmas Seal

8,5 cm and are delivered in sets of three.

Foundation, which supports children and youth activities in the Faroe Islands.

Price: 99 DKK each set. Price: 30 DKK


Year Pack


425 DKK 395 DKK

149 DKK

Christmas Cards


Posta Stamps also issues fifteen single

The Yearbook is our most exclusive product.

Christmas cards with the Christmas Seals’

Together with the stamps and mini-sheets it

motifs. The cards are sold in sets of five.

recounts the fascinating stories behind every stamp issue in text and images.

Price: 25 DKK (5) The 90-page high quality hardcover book is filled with beautiful imagery, fascinating stoYear Pack

ries, and placeholders throughout the pages

This is the Flagship Product, traditionally

for mounting and preserving the stamps.

issued at the end of the year. The Year Pack is a superb way of collecting all the stamps

The articles are in Danish, English and Ger-

of the year. Year Packs are sold at face


value prices. Price: 395 DKK

Pris: 425 DKK


New stamp issue: Date of issue: Value: Printer;

Yearbook 2016 07.11.2015 425,00 DKK TrykTeam, Denmark

New stamp issue: Date of issue: Value: Printer;

Year Pack 2016 07.11.2015 395,00 DKK TrykTeam, Denmark

New stamp issue: Date of issue: Value: Design: Printer:

Christmas Seals 2016 07.11.2016 30,00 DKK Posta TrykTeam, Danmark

Posta Stamps Óðinshædd 2 FO-100 Tórshavn Faroe Islands Tel. +298 346200 Fax +298 346201

Mulitlingual webshop:

Layout: Posta Stamps - Cover photo: Fish skin stamps - Printer: Trykteam, Denmark

New Issues - 7 November 2016

Posta Stamps No. 29 - EN  

Philatelic magazine presenting the unique Fish skin stamp, Faroese Year Collections and Christmas products.